2
Serving in the Hitler Youth

In 1938, a story by Hitler Youth Hans Wolf, entitled "Comradeship," was published as part of a public-school primer. This is how it began: "It was a hot day and we had far to march. The sun was burning down on the heath, which was bereft of trees. The sand was glistening, I was tired. My feet were hurting in those new walking shoes, every step was hurting and all I could think about was rest, water, and shade. I clenched my teeth to keep walking. I was the youngest, and this was my first outing. In front of me strode Rudolf, the leader. He was tall and strong. His backpack was heavy and pressed down on his shoulders. Rudolf carried the bread for us six boys, the cooking pot, and a pile of books, from which he would read us wonderfully thrilling stories, at night in the hostel. My backpack only contained a shirt, a couple of sneakers, washing utensils, and some cooking gear, apart from a tarpaulin for rainy days and straw beds. And yet I thought I could not lug this backpack any longer. My comrades all were somewhat older and had camping experience. They hardly felt the heat and hardship of the march. Every now and then they would sigh and drink lukewarm coffee from their canteens. More and more, I remained behind, even though I tried to make up for my slack by running. Suddenly Rudolf turned around. He stopped and watched me crawling up to him from a distance, while our comrades continued in the direction of a few trees on the horizon. 'Tired?' Rudolf asked me, kindly.

-13-

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Hitler Youth
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • 1: [Make Way, You Old Ones!] 1
  • 2: Serving in the Hitler Youth 13
  • 3: German Girls for Matrimony and Motherhood 70
  • 4: Dissidents and Rebels 113
  • 5: Hitler's Youth at War 167
  • 6: The Responsibility of Youth 247
  • Abbreviations 267
  • Notes 271
  • Acknowledgments 347
  • Index 349
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